RFA: Fate & Transport
Adviser: Jennifer Rehage
Carissa Gervasi is a PhD candidate at Florida International University. Her dissertation research is focused on developing a management plan for conservation of the Crevalle Jack, a large pelagic fish species currently unregulated in the state of Florida. Despite its unregulated status, the Crevalle Jack is an important top predator in coastal environments and is both commercially and recreationally targeted. Fishing guides in the Florida Keys have expressed concerns about a decline in catch rates of Crevalle Jack over recent years, so it is imperative that their population status be assessed, and measures be taken to restore and conserve the species.
Carissa’s dissertation specifically focuses on population dynamics and movement behavior of Crevalle Jack in Florida. Using a combination of fieldwork, analysis of long-term datasets, and interviews with recreational anglers, she hopes to figure out why the population may be declining, and what kinds of management efforts may need to be enacted. Her multidisciplinary project merges science with stakeholder engagement following a translational ecology framework to find the best possible solution for managing an important fish species. Carissa’s goal is to advance the field of marine conservation by providing a case study of how scientists can identify problems, develop hypotheses, and create solutions for managing complex fisheries using a bottom-up approach within the context of translational science.